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8 Foods Older Adults Should Remove from Their Diets

By , 9:00 am on

Eating healthy is as important for older adults as it is for other age groups. However, an aging adult’s immune system may not be efficient enough to ward off danger. If you’re caring for an elderly loved one, encourage him or her to give up the following foods.

1. Homemade Juice

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices may be host to potentially dangerous bacteria. It’s better for seniors to drink pasteurized juices from the store. 

Eliminating certain foods and drinks from the diet is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Rocklin, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Insufficiently Cooked Meats

Many people like their steak rare or medium rare. However, undercooked meats may still contain live Campylobacter, E. coli, Salmonella, or other microbes. Hamburgers, steaks, roasts, and other cuts of meat should be cooked until the flesh is no longer pink.

3. Raw Seafood

Seniors should avoid uncooked crab, lobster, mussels, scallops, shrimp, and sushi. It’s not uncommon for uncooked seafood to contain bacteria or parasites that can cause serious illnesses in the elderly. Seniors who insist on eating sushi or other types of raw fish should freeze the food for a minimum of four days to sufficiently kill harmful organisms.

4. Raw Sprouts

Many people enjoy putting bean sprouts in salads. Other raw sprouts include alfalfa and broccoli. Although the plants contain a wealth of nutrients, they are typically grown in warm, moist environments, which is the ideal breeding ground for E.coli, Salmonella, mold, and other microbes. Sprouts from any plant type should be cooked thoroughly before consuming. 

Older adults who need help with meal prep should consider professional in-home care. In Rocklin, senior home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

5. Raw or Undercooked Eggs

Eggs are known to carry Salmonella, which is responsible for food poisoning. Homemade eggnog, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, homemade Caesar dressing, and raw cake batter or cookie dough all contain raw eggs and may cause illness in older adults. Avoid the risk by ensuring eggs are thoroughly cooked until solid.

6. Soft Cheese

Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola, and similar soft cheeses have high moisture content, but they are low in acid. As such, uncooked soft cheeses may harbor bacteria that could pose a threat to older adults. On the other hand, hard cheeses are typically safe to eat uncooked.

7. Unpasteurized Milk

Although organic food enthusiasts tout the benefits of raw, unpasteurized milk, the beverage may contain a number of bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Older adults should only choose pasteurized dairy products.

8. Grapefruit or Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit is not harmful in and of itself. However, when consumed along with certain medications, the combination can cause unwanted interactions. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice block the CYP3A4 enzyme that is necessary to metabolize medications. Thus, the medications remain and accumulate in the blood, causing undesirable effects. Medications that interact with grapefruit include: 

• Certain corticosteroids
• Some antihistamines
• Certain antihypertensives
• Some anti-anxiety medications
• Certain cardiac rhythmics
• Some statins
• Certain transplant rejection formulas

Preparing nutritious meals for an elderly parent can be a challenging task, especially when you have other important chores to tend to. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Rocklin, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging parent, give us a call at 916.226.3737 today.